Morning Prayer: Feast of the Nativity of St. Jean-Baptiste (June 24th)

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Psalm: 82, 98
Old Testament: Malachi 3:1-5
New Testament: John 3:22-30

So normally I use a piece of Scripture as the catalyst for my reflections here on this blog. Today, however, I was caught by the utter simplicity and directness of the Collect appointed for today:

Almighty God,
you called John the Baptist
to give witness to the coming of your Son
and to prepare his way.
Give your people the wisdom to see you
and the openness to hear your will,
that we too may witness to Christ’s coming
and to prepare his way.
Through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Take a look at this prayer. It asks not only for correct vision to see God…..but the courage and strength to do His will. 🙂

In the Forerunner John the Baptist, all Christians have a clear example of what it means to give witness and to be a prophet. He was not a man who messed around. He called a spade a spade, and never made light of people’s deeds. May the whole Church…the whole Body of Christ rejoice in this day and pray that some of John’s character will rub off we who are called to preach the Gospel and speak truth to power. +

Morning Prayer: March 3rd

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Psalm: 18:1-20
Old Testament: Deut 4:32-40
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

. Therefore, to keep* me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.* Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power* is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:7-9)

So yesterday we were talking about weakness, and how it can sometimes be frightening to talk about them; especially in front of others.

Here in a moment of honesty, Paul admits that he is not perfect. That he has a thorn in his flesh that is causing him some spiritual anxiety.

There have been various speculations as to what this “thorn” my be. Some think it to be lust, while others believe that it may refer to some physical ailment that Paul suffered from.

I find it interesting that in his prayer-life, Paul does not get what he wants. The thorn is not removed, but rather God tells Paul “My grace is sufficient for you.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that things will be peachy and trouble-free….It means that though thorns may persist in our lives, they are not the end all and the be all. They will be conquered through Grace, and God will give us the means to overcome them.

Here I don’t mean supernatural healing…..although that is not entirely off the table either :)….after all, for God all things are possible.

However, the Grace of God can bring us the means by which to deal with our problems, be it through therapy, medication, regular exercise etc. and will surround us with people–family, friends, and even random strangers–that will build us up and put things into a new perspective…to help to make the load lighter.

Whatever your thorn, I hope that the pain is not unbearable…..and that you find yourself surrounded by love, friendship, and trust.

At the very least….know that there is someone out in London, ON Canada praying for you during the Daily Office ;). Blessed be. +

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